The current cosmological paradigm includes two significant and unknown physical entities called "dark matter" and "dark energy." This project aims to test this paradigm by extracting cosmological information from the latest large-scale structure surveys of galaxies. The methods employed will yield substantial improvements over standard two-point measurements such as the power spectrum, and they will ultimately provide tighter constraints on cosmological parameters. Specifically, the project's primary goals are (1) to measure and interpret the power spectrum and bispectrum in the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), (2) to improve current theoretical models of galaxy bias and redshift-space distortions, (3) to test large-scale modifications of gravity, proposed to explain the current acceleration of the Universe, by using redshift-space distortions of galaxy clustering in BOSS, and (4) to constrain primordial non-Gaussianity, motivated by inflationary models.
The educational broader impacts of this project include funding for two graduate students for three years at NYU and will be part of their PhD thesis work, and the investigators will give seminars to middle school and high school science teachers and to science education graduate students at NYU's Department of Teaching and Learning. For the scientific community the investigators will provide (1) publicly available computer code for cosmological simulations, specifically to generate non-Gaussian initial conditions, and (2) public mock galaxy catalogues produced by computer simulations.